Baseball Drills in a Gym
When weather conditions prevent a baseball team from practicing outside, drills to work on hitting, pitching, fielding, throwing and baserunning can be done in a gym. The drills may have to be altered to account for the space limitations, but players still can benefit from such workouts.
Set up a batting cage in the gym. If the gym is large enough, use a batting cage with a pitching machine to allow hitters to take full-speed batting practice. Hitting inside the cage will keep baseballs from flying all over the gym.
Pitchers can practice in a gym with little disruption if a portable mound is available. A larger gym will allow pitchers to perform long-toss workouts to build arm strength. In a smaller gym, pitchers can work on mechanics with a portable mound, being careful to account for the hardness that is not present with a dirt mound. Pitchers should go through normal warmup drills, then throw a predetermined number of pitches.
1-2-3 Infield Drill
Set up bases inside the gym. If the gym is not large enough to allow for the regulation 90 feet between bases, set up the bases with a smaller configuration. This will allow a coach to hit ground balls for infield practice. Hit three ground balls to every infielder. On the first ground ball, the infielder will throw to first base. On the second grounder, the infielder will throw to second as if starting a double play. On the third grounder, the infielder will throw to home plate. Give each infielder three rounds of ground balls.
When conducting practice indoors, set up at least four stations for various drills. For example, players can hit off batting tees in one station, pitchers can throw in another station, players can field ground balls in a third station and a fourth area can be used for conditioning drills. Players will rotate from one station to another after a predetermined amount of time, allowing them to do several different activities at each practice session. If the gym is not large enough for four stations, set up two or three areas for different drills.
Arrange four throw-down bases in the same configuration as a regulation field, but on a smaller scale. This will allow players to work on baserunning techniques, such as taking a lead, accelerating from a standing position and touching the inside corner of each base. Have players line up at first base and practice advancing to third base. Players should focus on getting a good jump, touching the inside corner of second base and making a turn so they go from second to third on a straight line.
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.